What is "Genetic Testing"?
One of the latest advances in psychiatry and the psychiatric medication management process is genetic testing. It is a technology which seeks to personalize treatment for each patient and take out much of the "trial and error" in mental health prescribing. Utilizing this technology, iTrust Wellness Group clinicians seek to get clients on the right medication faster. According to a recent study, clients whose treatment was guided by genetic testing experienced 70% improvement in depressive symptoms versus standard of care in only 60 days (Hall-Flavin et al., 2013). Finding the right medicine matters!
Genetic testing is not only clinically relevant to better treatment outcomes, it is also easy to do. There is no blood work, no needles, and no pain involved in the collection process - a cheek swab is all that is needed and can be completed in under 5 minutes. Once your health and insurance information is collected by your provider, the testing package is then shipped via air mail to a laboratory. Results are available in as little as 1 week and your provider will provide a comprehensive review of the results at your next appointment. As our genetic profile is unique to each person and does not change, results from these genetic tests are good for life.
Typically, Medicaid, Medicare, and Tricare clients are not responsible for any out of pocket cost associated with the genetic testing. Therefore, for clients with Medicaid, Medicare, and Tricare, the cost of completing the test is effectively $0.
On average, clients with commercial insurance policies will receive a bill around $330. However, patient financial responsibility may depend on household income and can be adjusted to as low as $20 if household income is under $50,000.
For additional information or questions, we recommend that you contact the genetic testing company's billing department: 888-496-2391 or visit the website HERE.
Example of Results
Stop wondering which medication is right for you and start on your road to recovery. Treating mental health disorders can often be a long, frustrating process as you and your psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner spend months trying multiple medications for depression and other conditions at different doses to find the medication that works for you. During this time you could end up missing work, paying for multiple doctor visits, or losing hope that you’ll ever find a medication that can help you. There’s a better way.
The GeneSight test analyzes your DNA and helps your doctor get a better understanding of what medication might work best based on your genetic makeup. Using the GeneSight test report, your psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner can personalize your treatment plan, finding the right medication faster and avoiding medicines that may cause side effects.
An example of a GeneSight test report can be viewed here.
We cannot cover all information related to genetic testing on our website and encourage our clients to schedule a consultation with one of our providers to see whether or not genetic testing is an appropriate treatment option.
We also encourage clients to reference reputable online sources for additional information about genetic testing.
More information about genetic testing and the genetic testing process can be found HERE.
1. Hall-Flavin DK, Winner JG, Allen JD, Carhart JM, Proctor B, Snyder KA, Drews MS, Eisterhold LL, Geske J, Mrazek DA. Utility of integrated pharmacogenomic testing to support the treatment of major depressive disorder in a psychiatric outpatient setting. Pharmacogenetics and Genomics. 2013;23(10):535-548.